Super Eagles’ goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama
By Duro Ikhazuagbe
Super Eagles’ goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama, has apologised for his error which cost Nigeria a second victory in the qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup to be hosted by Brazil.
In an uncharacteristic manner, the Lille of France safe hands last Saturday gifted The Flames an equalising goal in the added time of the encounter in Blantyre to draw Malawi par with Nigeria.
“I feel bad about what happened and just don’t know how to explain it. But I want to put it behind me and focus on the match with Rwanda, which is very, very important for us,” said the goalkeeper, who is the Eagles’ stand-in skipper in the absence of injured Joseph Yobo.
But for the goal tender who is just few hours away from the 10th year anniversary of the day he got his big break to become Nigeria’s number one under Coach Adegboye Onigbinde, the blunder in Blantyre was unpardonable.
The lion-hearted goaltender recalled with nostalgia how he performed creditably in that debut match that ended scoreless and has also shone brightly in three African Cup of Nations finals in 2004, 2006 and 2010.
Enyeama’s 2010 FIFA World Cup finals in South Africa remains a sweet memory even as the Eagles fumbled out of that edition at the group stage.
“Just how do you play so well and still end up drawing a game with just seconds to the end,” was, however, the submission of Atletico Beleares of Spain midfielder, Raheem Lawal, after the World Cup qualifier last Saturday.
Lawal, who said he felt a personal sense of loss, because he was the one that lost a ball in the midfield that was floated into the Nigerian vital area, vowed that Malawi, will see ‘hell’ when they come for the return leg in Nigeria, as he sobbed uncontrollably after the encounter.
Head Coach Stephen Keshi, while reviewing the match, said it was unbelievable but he would like to dwell on the positives of the encounter, even as he described the draw as a loss to the team.
“This is a fairly new team and it takes time for us to reach the level that our established players have reached, but I’m happy that the players did well but unfortunately lost valuable points in the last minute. We created chance after chance in the first half and refused to take, to score late in the match and lose the lead is totally unacceptable and we have to go and work on our weaknesses,” he said
Last Saturday afternoon, midfielder Reuben Gabriel’s powerful header off Ahmed Musa’s free-kick from the right flank with only a minute to go appeared to have won it for Nigeria. But substitute John Banda equalised for Malawi with almost the last kick of the game.